Are You Making Any of These 5 B2B Lead Nurturing Mistakes?

August 8, 2014

Lead Nurturing

In the past, lead nurturing was a process typically conducted by salespeople, who phoned or met with prospects to coax them toward a sale. In the digital age, much of the lead nurturing responsibility has become the marketing department’s domain. Marketers are responsible for nurturing prospects who have raised their digital hands -- usually by supplying an email address -- to indicate they are interested in a company’s product or service.Screen Shot 2014-12-15 at 1.14.32 PM

Virtually every marketer is involved in lead nurturing to some degree. A recent survey found that 94 percent of marketers say lead nurturing is an important part of their strategy. Additionally, 72 percent of marketers use marketing automation software to bolster their lead nurturing programs usually via email. However, some marketers, due to low open rates and the inability to nurture anonymous prospects who haven’t provided their email addresses, are expanding their nurturing beyond email to include display and social advertising.

The bottom line of this evolution: Even as lead nurturing grows increasingly complex for the marketing department, it has also become increasingly important. To make your lead nurturing as effective and efficient as possible, it’s critical to avoid these five B2B lead nurturing mistakes:

Avoid these five B2B lead nurturing mistakes:

Mistake No. 1: Waiting for Your Target Prospects to Reach Out to You.

Prospects may be 90 percent through the buyer’s journey before reaching out to you. Marketers who track anonymous website visitors have found that prospects may have 30 or more interactions with a brand before identifying themselves. In lead nurturing, you must make sure you’re communicating with your top funnel prospects and generating awareness early in your prospects’ buying process.

Mistake No. 2: Ignoring Your Anonymous Website Visitors.

Research shows only 5 percent of website visitors share their email addresses. Of those, just 20 percent open emails. To combat this, marketers must explore multi-channel nurturing to include targeting prospects with display and social advertising.

Mistake No. 3: Taking a One-Size-Fits-All Content Approach to Lead Nurturing.

Sending messages that don’t match where the prospect is in the funnel will reduce engagement. Make sure you segment your audience into personas and make sure you have content that speaks to the particular needs of each persona.

Mistake No. 4: Not Testing and Optimizing Your Ad Creative Over Time.

Many marketers are not taking advantage of the magic of A/B testing to make sure their ad creative and email subject lines are as effective as possible. Implementing optimization processes, such as A/B testing, will go a long way to improving performance.

Mistake No. 5: Applying the Wrong Success Metrics to Multi-Channel Nurturing.

Leads and conversions are critical – obviously. But they are more appropriate to bottom-funnel lead nurturing efforts, such as email. For multi-channel nurturing programs that include advertising, marketers should implement metrics the measure top- and mid-funnel performance, such as new website visitors and time spent on the website.

Make your lead nurturing as effective and efficient as possible with the newly enhanced LinkedIn Marketing Solutions product suite:

This post was originally published on the Bizo blog. In July 2014, LinkedIn + Bizo joined forces to build the most robust B2B marketing platform available to marketers. To learn more, check out David Thacker, VP of Product at LinkedIn’s announcement blog post.

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